With the drastic decline in the bee population in the world today, we need bees in our gardens more than ever! Bees are essential to our eco-system; we need them to pollinate flowers, fruit trees and vegetable gardens. At least a 3/4 of the foods (fruits, veggies, nuts, herbs) we eat need to be pollinated to reproduce!
One simple way we can bring back the bees is by attracting them with flowers. Even a small flower patch in the garden will make a huge difference! It really is as easy as that sounds. A bee-friendly garden will not take more time or effort than a regular garden. It’s about making conscious choices in your garden to benefit bees. The following are some tips to attracting bees and other pollinators to your garden:
- Create a garden with a diversity of flowers in various sizes and shapes because not all bees are created equal. Canada, alone, is home to hundreds of bee species of all sizes. For instance, short-tongued bees need shallow flowers in order to reach the nectar, whereas long-tongue bees can reach deeper flowers.
- Bees are attracted to brightly-coloured flowers. Choose a variety of colours, particularly blue, yellow and violet. Plant them in masses so that passing bees can see them.
- Plant flowers that are native to your area. Native and heirloom flowers tend to have more nectar and pollen than cultivated flowers.
- Plan your garden so that there are flowers blooming at all times from spring until fall, to provide food for bees all season long.
- Avoid the use of pesticides and other chemicals, as this can kill the bees.
- Provide habitat for bees to protect them from the elements (rain and wind) and as a place to nest. Place logs and tree stumps in a sunny spot or create a nest in the ground filled with sand and loam.
- Some examples of flowers that are known to attract bees: aster, cosmos, primrose, borage, sunflower, butterfly weed, bee balm, and lantana.
So what are you waiting for? You can make a difference in the world, just by doing something you love- gardening!
- Scientists Develop Robot Bees to Help Pollinate Flowers (funflowerfacts.com)
- Bees and Flowers Communicate By Electricity (funflowerfacts.com)
- Metals in Flowers Cause Decline in Bee Population (growerdirect.com)
- Caffeine Buzz Attracts Bees to Flowers (funflowerfacts.com)
- How to Attract Butterflies to your Garden (growerdirect.com)